Our amazing vacation started with a long car drive from Missouri to Tennessee. Upon arriving in Gatlinburg, we were fascinated by the brightly-lit shopping strip in the middle of town. However, we were slightly confused because none of the streets were named! Instead, the streetlights are numbered. To know where you are, you need to look for the number near the stoplight!
We then settled in to the Bluegreen Resort.. We enjoyed the cozy half-cabin, with its full kitchen, master bedroom, and living room. We got to see the fog over the mountains every morning!
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
After a restful night, we geared up for white-water rafting! We took a short bus ride to the starting point of the river. We got soaked on our hour-long tour on the Pigeon River! The trip was so fun. We ordered a disc of pictures from our rafting adventure, which we will enjoy for many years to come!
The next day, we headed to C.L.I.M.B Works Canopy Tours, a zipline resort just outside of Gatlinburg. At C.L.I.M.B. Works, there are 13 short expeditions including ziplines, rappelling stations, and wooden bridges. (www.climbworkscanopy.com) We were horrified when we first arrived, but by the time our guide drove us up the mountain in a four-wheeler, we were excited!! We had a great time soaring above the Smoky Mountains. The views were incredible!!! Our 2 ½ hour long trip through the mountains was worthwhile. It was fun for everyone in my family! The guides were awesome and helped us overcome the initial fear! Check out this video to see what it was like!
Later on, we went on a hike through Smoky Mountain National Park.There was a cleared dirt trail that led us up into the mountains. We got to see the beautiful forest, as well as a rushing waterfall! The scenery of Tennessee was one of the highlights of our trip!
While in Gatlinburg, we took full advantage of the unique restaurants, eating only at places we couldn't eat at home. I would highly recommend this method. It allowed us to fully experience the Gatlinburg area. We ate at Hard Rock Café, where we enjoyed looking at the memorabilia on the walls. Ben & Jerry's was also fun!! We liked tasting their interesting flavors. Finally, we had a great time at Dick's Last Resort, where the waiters are supposed to be rude to the customers. It was a hilarious experience!! The waiters even made us hats that had insults about us written on them!!
We soon headed out of Gatlinburg to drive back to Nashville. We stopped at the Loveless Café, which is a small cafe where many celebrities eat! The biscuits were incredible, and we were glad we made the stop.
In Nashville, our first stop was the Country Music Hall of Fame. We spent hours there, and the fee was worth it. We took a break from the Hall of Fame to go check out the Historic RCA Studio B, where Elvis recorded most of his songs. It was the highlight of our stay in Nashville!! After touring the building, we were able to play the piano that Elvis played while recording!!
In Nashville, we held to the principle that we would only eat at unique places. We found a few unique places on Music Row, including some awesome Nashville Barbeque!
After a few days in Tennessee, we started the long trek home. On the journey, we laughed and recalled all the great things we got to experience. We would recommend the trip to any other adventurous families!!!
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.